2Checkout 2021 Survey: Global Subscription Patterns

The popularity of subscriptions continues to grow year after year, in spite of the social changes and uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shifts of preferences within the category are, however, noticeable, with the new normal driving people to reevaluate and reconsider the terms under which they enter and renew recurring subscriptions.

2Checkout’s latest global study on subscription usage, which was conducted over April and May, 2021 with respondents from 90 countries, reveals how consumer preferences in the category are changing and what merchants selling subscriptions should consider in order to improve the customer experience going forward.

The pandemic has not deterred subscribers

The rate of acquiring or renewing new subscriptions is an encouraging factor in the category, with 49% of respondents reporting they purchase subscriptions a few times a year, about a quarter purchasing at least once a month, and 26% acquiring subscriptions at most once a year.

Entertainment and online news are top consumer picks in 2021

Software came in a close second in preferences, with 43% opting for downloadable software while cloud-based software attracted 30% of respondents. Rounding up the tech category, 17% also acquired or renewed their cloud storage subscriptions.

Shoppers value flexibility

Recommendations from friends, access to one’s preferred payment method, as well as the availability of a free trial were also reported as important factors that have driven adoption up, for at least half of subscribers.

Mobile wallets are the payment method of choice

Shoppers value convenience

Shorter billing cycles and usage-based pricing are growing in popularity

As far as pricing models are concerned, preferences are quite evenly split between those who favor flat rates and those who prefer usage-based pricing. In contrast to last year, fewer respondents report that flat rate is their preferred pricing model (41% versus 65% in 2020), which could suggest a need for pricing schemes that are better tailored to individual consumption patterns.

Customer support can make it or break it


Go deeper in the results of 2Checkout’s 2021 Subscription Survey by checking out the full infographic.



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2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone) is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses built to help clients drive sales growth across channels.